The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are an archipelago of roughly 40 coral islands in the middle of the Caribbean. TCI is home to the world’s third largest barrier reef, which means you have more than 200 hundred miles of sandy beaches to explore! With all of these beaches, you find beautiful sandbars and can literally walk miles into the ocean without the water going above your chest.
The main island of TCI, Providenciales (also known as Provo by the locals), is not the largest island, but has plenty of beaches to explore. It is less than 90 minutes from Miami, and only a three-hour flight from NYC. Providenciales is one of, if not THE best single island for beaches in the entire Caribbean.
Below I’ve listed what I believe to be the best beaches of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach is commonly referred to as the best beach in the world. In fact, it currently holds the position of World Travel Awards’ World’s Leading Beach Destination, and Trip Advisor’s 2nd best beach in the world. When you think of tropical beaches, your mind’s imagination is nearly identical to Grace Bay.
A reef one mile out from shore protects Grace Bay from the ocean swells of the Atlantic, so expect calm waters, white sands, palm trees, and beautiful weather.
Nearly all of the main resorts on Providenciales are found on this coast, and most of the “big” resorts are on Grace Bay Beach. These resorts offer direct beach access and watersports to enjoy on these calm waters.
When you stay on Provo, you must spend at least half a day at Grace Bay Beach. You won’t regret it.
Blue Hills Beach
Blue Hills Beach is on the “other” side of the island away from Grace Bay Beach. Grace Bay makes up the Eastern portion while Blue Hills makes up the Western portion. Blue Hills Beach is one of the original settlements on the island. It is protected from the Atlantic currents from the same reef as Grace Bay, BUT Blue Hills Beach tends to get all of the broken coral washed up onto it.
This is good and bad. Good because you can find some amazing conch shells and other seashells on the beach. Bad because you can’t walk comfortably in the water.
Tip: Bring water shoes so you can go offshore to swim or look for buried seashells.
However, some of the best food on the island is found on this beach. Da Conch Shack is a TCI oldie and favorite. Across the parking lot is Shay On The Beach, which is a recently renovated and opened restaurant worth a visit. Both offer beautiful views, delicious seafood, and cold drinks.
How To Get There: Plug either restaurant into your Google Maps, and you’ll find a good parking lot right there with direct access to the beach.
Taylor Bay Beach
While both Grace Bay Beach and Blue Hills Beach are on the North side of the island, Taylor Bay Beach is on the South side. The South of Provo is much quieter than the north, with fewer resorts and more homes.
Taylor Bay Beach is rather small compared to the Northern beaches. However, it still has a lot going for it. It is sheltered by a small peninsula, so the water here is very shallow, calm, and clear – making it my favorite beach in Turks and Caicos.
The beach was relatively empty, serene, and beautiful. The clear shallow water is perfect for wading into and snapping some pictures. It’s also great for looking at wildlife. We saw two little Nurse Sharks swimming around the shallows as we were exploring.
Tip: There aren’t any restrooms or places for food on this beach, so come prepared.
How To Get There: There is a route to the coast on its western end near the entrance to the Silly Creek neighborhood on the righthand side. The path is not an established access but head on through and you’ll get to the beach after a 1 minute walk.
Sapodilla Bay is Taylor Bay’s bigger brother. Another beautiful white sand beach with calm blue waters.
The bay consists of a beautiful sandy beach with small villas and vacation rentals lining the coast. If you have a good size group heading to Providenciales, a large villa on Sapodilla Bay would make for a fantastic home base.
On the East side of the bay, there is a long dock – probably unused by boats now. You can walk along this dock and look into the crystal clear water to see tons of sea life swimming about. Sapodilla Hill protects this area from the larger waves. However, if waves are what you seek, just hike to the top of the hill! You can also swim out to a small boat wreck just 50 ft from the shoreline.
How To Get There: Plug “Sapodilla Bay Beach” into Google, select the one next to “Crystal Sands Villa”. You can park along the road and walk the sand path to the beach.
Malcolm’s Road Beach
Probably the most remote beach on the list, Malcolm’s Road Beach is on the far West side of the island.
It is a combination of rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. Malcolm’s Road Beach is the closest beach to the reef wall. Unfortunately, you still can’t swim out to it (it’s just too far). However, if you have a boat, you can easily boat out from Malcolm’s Road Beach and do some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving. One of our favorite days was doing a boat excursion where we snorkeled off this part of the island. It was some of the best snorkeling we’ve ever done in the Caribbean.
How To Get There: If you don’t have a 4×4, you can’t get to Malcolm’s Road Beach safely. The road to the beach is completely dirt. When it rains, it becomes a muddy slop. It is also riddled with large potholes and bumps. I highly suggest not going unless you have a tall 4×4 vehicle. However, if you do go, plug Malcolm Beach into Google Maps and just look for signs and arrows pointing you in the right direction.
Tip: When you park your car, be sure to take everything valuable with you. In the past, there have been car break-ins since the beach is so remote and the odds of getting caught are slim. However, because of the newly built Amanyara Resort (which is also located on this beach), there is more security in the area and the number of break-ins has decreased. It is safe to visit the beach, just don’t leave anything important in your car.
Long Bay Beach
Long Bay Beach is the southern sister of Grace Bay Beach. However, it offers a very different environment.
Both have fantastic water colors and clarity, but Long Bay Beach tends to have a thinner beach area and is much windier. It is actually the preferred location for kiteboarding on the island due to the steady winds. You can find 10s to 100s of kiteboarders out on Long Bay Beach depending on the day.
Another really interesting part of Long Bay Beach is what is off on the horizon. The grounded wreck of the freighter ship La Famille Express, was washed onto the shallow Caicos Banks during Hurricane Frances in 2004. It is a common excursion site for local boat tours. During low tide, it is theoretically possible to walk to the grounded wreck, but I would not suggest it (walking 2.3 miles through chest-deep water would take quite a while and you may come across currents).
How To Get There: Plugin Long Bay Beach into Google Maps, select the location across from Windchaser Villas and you’ll find a beach access point. Park along the road, be sure not to block any driveways or roadways.
Turtle Tail Beach
Turtle Tail Beach is a relatively quiet and secluded beach off of Turtle Tail Drive. It is really several small beaches, ranging in size from about fifty feet up to few hundred feet long. However, many are only accessible from private villas. The good news is the “largest” of the beaches is accessible for the public.
You can also see five small cays off shore and it’s possible to wade out to the closer islands because the water is only a few feet deep going out a long distance. I do suggest wearing or bringing flip flops or water shoes because the five small cays are quite rocky with sharp coral.
Leeward Beach is probably the second most popular beach on Provo. Directly east of Grace Bay Beach (almost seems like they are the same beach in reality), Leeward Beach has resorts and large private villas decorating the shoreline.
Leeward is a pretty area. From the west side, you can view all of Grace Bay. On the east is the waterway seperating Providenciales from the uninhabited Caicos Cays to the east. These Caicos Cays are popular boat excursions for many tourists. Our AirBnB host (Scott from Seaspice) gave us a quick charter over to these cays, which was a lot of fun.
How To Get There: Type in Pelican Beach on Google Maps and it will lead you to a beach access.
The Bight Park Beach
Just West of Grace Bay, The Bight Reef Beach is sheltered from winds and waves, making the water calm and clear. Perfectly for snorkeling!
Bight Reef (also known as Coral Gardens) is a great “entry level” snorkeling spot. The reef consists of only one main ridge of coral extending about 350 feet out from the beach, easily swimmable for those who are fit. Even though the reef is small, you can find turtles, rays, and even some Nurse sharks swimming through.
To get to the reefs, some can be found about 750 feet out from the Gansevoort resort. Others are located 330 feet out and roughly 900 feet west of the main Children’s Park access.
The beach itself is nice and sandy. It does get a bit windier than Grace Bay, but not significantly. Overall, a relaxing time if you are not snorkeling.
How To Get There: The Children’s Park is the main access. This location is on the best section of the beach, and ample free parking is provided. Just Google “Children’s Park” and follow the map.
Half Moon Bay on Little Water Cay
While not officially part of Providenciales, Little Water Cay (also known as Iguana Island) and Half Moon Bay are close enough to get included.
Little Water Cay is now home to the last of the Rock Iguanas in TCI. Don’t be afraid of not seeing them, the iguanas are everywhere on the island. Little Water Cay has two sets of loop boardwalks installed, one on the north side and one on the south side of the island. However, due to conservation efforts, please only walk along the boardwalks. Visiting Iguana Island is a bit of fun, but may only take 1 hour in total time.
Half Moon Bay is quite different. It is a natural sandbar between Little Water Cay and Water Cay. It’s almost a mile long and lined with sand and sandy cliffs. Half Moon Bay is where a lot of the boat cruises visit at one point or another. The northern side of the bay is a wide sprawling beach with a few shipwrecks off the coast of it. The southern side is a sheltered and shallow lagoon with crystal clear water and soft sand.
If you’re up for a fun day, rent a kayak and head over to Iguana Island and Half Moon Bay. Pack a lunch and wear sunscreen!
How To Get There: Both Little Water Cay and Half Moon Bay are easily accessible by standup paddleboard, kayak, or boat leaving from Leeward Beach or Blue Haven Marina.
Which of these 10 Beaches around Providenciales, Turks and Caicos would you love to visit? Let me know in the comments below!
To learn more more tips and guides on Caribbean travel, be sure to check out “Destinations: The Caribbean” on The Lovely Escapist website. If you’re interested in snorkeling in Turks & Caicos, watch my video below for inspiration!